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Winter Maintenance in Cambridge

» Found in Transportation & Public Works
**There is currently no snow event in effect ** See more information on winter parking and snow events.

Road Snow Clearing Practices

The Public Works Department maintains Regional and all City streets within the City of Cambridge. Plowing/Sanding/Salting and Snow Removal Operations are started as soon as possible after the start of a snowstorm.

Plans for Improved Winter Maintenance Services

Plows are deployed to pre-determined plow routes that are designed to provide plowing services on a priority basis.

Each class of street has minimum standards for maintenance. For example, on Class II streets (ie. Franklin Blvd./Hespeler Rd.) we try to keep the accumulation of snow under 5cm (two inches) and residential streets under 12cm (five inches), therefore more resources are needed on higher volume roads.

Overnight parking is not permitted on any street between 2:30 and 6:00 a.m. in the City of Cambridge from January 1-March 15.

Plan for Improved Winter Maintenance Services

Salting and Sanding Practices

City of Cambridge PlowSalt is applied early in a storm to prevent snow and ice from bonding to the pavement. If plowing is required, due to increased accumulation, the plow can normally clear the pavement completely. Salting and sanding is normally required after plowing.

Dangerous sections such as steep hills, curves and intersections are continually salted during a storm. Sand is usually applied on flat, straight residential and rural areas when required.

Salt and sand are applied as required at rates that are effective and economical following standards established by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. To protect our ground water supplies, vehicles are equipped with contemporary technology to minimize the rate of salt application.

Snow Plowing Priorities Poster

Sidewalks/Walkways - Winter Maintenance

Sidewalk PlowSnow Clearing By-law 168-08 requires property owners to clear all sidewalks adjacent to their property within 36 hours after a snow fall. This is to provide a safe path for all pedestrians including those that require the assistance of walkers, wheelchairs, scooters and strollers. According to By-law 168-08, failure to clear your sidewalks could result in a fine and an invoice for any work that the City of Cambridge is required to do to clear the sidewalk of snow and ice.

If you are not able to clear your own sidewalk due to health or mobility issues there may be assistance available to you. Please contact Community Support Connections-Meals on Wheels and More at 519-772-8787 or visit for information regarding assistance. Please sign up early for this service as there is an application process to determine your eligibility.

Both the Public Works and Community Services Departments maintain the clearance of some sidewalks, trails and walkways to ensure direct access in public areas. Please view a detailed map Sidewalk Snow Clearing Map indicating responsibilities throughout the city.

Winter Parking and Snow Events

To reduce the impact of on-street parking on winter maintenance activities the City has two parking restrictions specific to winter parking; the Snow Event and Late Night parking prohibitions.

Snow Events

Parking is prohibited on any City street at any time (day or night) when a "Snow Event" is declared by the City. The declaration will be based on credible weather forecast information, when a significant snowfall (10.0 cm of snow) is forecast. Vehicles parked on-street during a snow event could be ticketed and possibly towed.

Snow events are not limited to certain months, if significant snowfall was anticipated in May a snow event could still be implemented.

Declaring a Snow Event

The Director of Public Works or his/her designate will be responsible for declaring the snow event and there should be the following parameters in place to identify the intent of the declaration and how it will be declared:

1. Staff will give as much notice as possible of an impending snow event, attempting to make the declaration no later than 4:00 p.m. on the subject day whenever possible, thus providing time for the media outlets to broadcast the information on their 6:00 p.m. newscasts.

2. The declaration will remain in place for a minimum of 24 hours from the time it is called. An expected duration will be announced with each event, and may be subject to change due to weather conditions. The declaration could be cancelled prior to the 24 hour period if the weather conditions are such that the snowfall does not materialize as anticipated.

Snow Event Enforcement

Enforcement staff would only enforce this parking prohibition when Public Works Supervisors advise of a situation whereby their snow clearing staff is encountering difficulties in accessing streets due to parked vehicles.

Vehicles will not be Tagged and/or Towed based on calls from the Public.

The Snow Event by-law will only be enforced when; in the opinion of Public Works staff, their snow clearing equipment is being impeded from accessing a street. Furthermore, ticketing and towing will only occur to the degree necessary to allow the necessary equipment access to the street to perform the required duties. As such, it is possible that some cars will be towed from a street while others are not, even though all the cars are in violation of the by-law.

Late Night Parking Prohibition

Between January 1st and March 15th parking is not permitted on-street from 2:30 am to 6:00 am citywide. On-street parking is still permitted after 6 a.m. and before 2:30 a.m. for up to three hours (unless otherwise posted) so long as a snow event is not in effect.


In case of medical or other serious emergency, the City's snow clearing forces respond to calls for assistance through the ambulance service and can be accessed by interconnected radio communications with police and fire services.

Ways that you can help the City after a heavy snowfall
  • Please ensure all vehicles are off the street following a storm.
  • Please don't place snow from driveways/sidewalks back onto the street.
  • Please keep sidewalks clear.
  • Please be patient, all streets will be plowed.
  • Above all, please use caution when driving or walking in winter conditions.

For more information, please call the Transportation and Public Works Division at (519) 621-0740.

Related Documents

Maps - Transp. & Public Works
Sidewalk Snow Clearing Map Sidewalks, Trails and walkways maintained by the City of Cambridge. Detailed map showing areas Community Services and Public Works maintains. 2015-12-15 PDF 854Kb
Winter Maintenance
2015 Snow Brochure Information on Snow Policies for the City of Cambridge. 2015-01-12 PDF 2179Kb
Winter Maintenance - Frequently Asked Questions FAQs on snow removal policies and guidelines. 2015-01-11 PDF 37Kb
Salting and Sanding Practices Steps followed for salting and sanding purposes during winter season. 2014-12-16 PDF 16Kb
Plan for Improved Winter Maintenance Services   2009-11-11 PDF 33Kb